Professional Development on Your Terms: Why?
The summer is quickly coming to an end, and this means professional development days! The excitement of setting up your classrooms, designing your reading corner (Thank you, Pinterest!), color-coding your lesson plans by subject (oh, that could just be me), and making sure you have all the supplies ready for your students is priority. But, at the beginning of every school year is a list of PD sessions and workshops that are mandatory and supposed to help you become a “better” teacher. The goal of professional development is ultimately for students to benefit from new instructional strategies, which all educators want to see. But considering the limited time that teachers have available to prepare for the new year, it’s especially important that all PD offerings provide effective instruction as efficiently as possible.
First, let’s agree on what effective PD should include:
- focus on content that includes strategies for using specialized curriculum or instructional tools within classroom contexts, providing multiple access points for students in language arts, mathematics, and science.
- active learning. The strongest way to support active learning in the classroom is to practice and model the strategies and methods you want your students to use. To better meet the needs of diverse learners, it’s important to understand the why’s and how’s of hands-on, collaborative, “get-your-hands-dirty” learning for all.
- expert support and coaching that focuses on individual needs. Dealing with an increasingly diverse student population requires consistent and long-term support for each teacher, at every level of their professional career.
More and more PD companies are offering on-demand, self-paced online training that supports active learning via practical application of new methods and techniques. With the push for fostering a 21st century classroom environment, digital tools are becoming the norm for delivering instruction, and a teacher’s ability to reinforce tech concepts and skills for their students is dependent on their own comfort with technology.
OKTOPUS is a simple-to-use teaching and learning package, with annotation and collaboration tools, premade lessons, and learning games that can engage even the most reticent learner. But with limited planning time, how can you learn to effectively incorporate this software? OKTOPUS offers online training modules to help you successfully integrate technology, boost your confidence with using tech in the classroom, and improve learning outcomes.
Why worry about squeezing in professional development when OKTOPUS provides effective PD on your time? The OKTOPUS Educator online PD is focused on content you will use with your students, incorporates active learning, and includes expert coaching and support. To learn more, go to www.qwizdomoktopus.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.